Kseniia Antipina’s current work is a familiar stranger, exposed through the multitude of textures that the creature is adorned by. Each material that the artist intervenes with has an individual quality that adds more emotion to the collective creature. Her approach is intuitive, when working with a found material she tests its responses and boundaries.
Kseniia’s material focus
Kseniia’s connection to her work feels tangibly intimate as she describes it to me. She explains how the slow process of working with these materials by hand is calming. It is a way of coping with the instability of the world around her. It forms a kind of therapy that allows Kseniia to escape from or translate the effects of these events.
She points to one patch of material. It appears to me as a squared scrap, maybe from an old, white, cotton blend t-shirt or bed sheet. It has been torn creating a careful pattern of holes. Each hole opens in a way that the new founded edges roll back into the material, resembling the suckers of an octopus’ arm. Her approach is sensitive to the material which allows Kseniia to escape the limits most would expect to find. This results in an expanding curiousity both by the artist and those experiencing Kseniia’s work.
The Embodiment of Emotion
The figure that she is working on in her studio is a wearable piece, currently on a mannequin. Being in the echoey studio a while, I start to make understandings of its form. It resembles a butterfly from some viewpoints and a snail from others. With this, there are parts of the construction that seem heavier or lighter than others. Kseniia’s insight into this sensation offers deeper connection between the piece that I am witnessing and the artist’s process. There are parts that are the snail, heavier in feeling. This is representative of the baggage that each person has within themselves in their everyday lives. While the form of the butterfly plays with ideas of the hope and resilience that keep us going. The two become a hybrid that is then combined with the human body.
photos by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by artist
The production of Kseniia’s projects is recorded through her photography or film sequences. This multidisciplinary approach expands the artist’s vision, she bends the boundaries of the mediums she works with allowing them to connect with each other in absurd and dynamic ways. Kseniia allows her practice to be malleable and adapt with her expanding ideas. The photographs taken of her current work show details of the creature, the ripples of fabric, materials in delicate knots and tense bunches that create an armour.
Kseniia’s art is focused on making situations. She generates something unusual and unexpected for people to respond to. In speaking about people’s response to her art, Kseniia admits how it can be a shock for people and that their impression feels like an important part of her practice. How would you react, stepping out of your flat in the early morning, heading to work, only to be greeted by a human body with large lobster legs on the stairwell? Amused, Kseniia describes this situation, only she was the human with large lobster legs shooting this composition, while having peculiar meetings with her passing neighbours.
Kseniia’s creatures and their environments are a materialisation of an artists’ mind trying to comprehend their surroundings. The art experiences several metamorphoses through their formation, reminding us of the unfixed nature of ourselves and our surroundings. This, like Kseniia’s creature, is rich in a constantly moving synthesis of heaviness, sorrow, doubt, hope, resilience, and joy.
Written by Kate Lafferty
Sat 18 June
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program